Lewis Dartnell

Scientific Big Thinker

Prof. Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology researcher based at the University of Westminster, studying how microbial life, and signs of its existence, might persist on the surface of Mars. Alongside his research he writes regular science articles in newspapers and magazines, and has appeared in TV shows such as BBC Horizon, Wonders of the Universe, and documentaries on National Geographic, Discovery and History channels. Lewis’ most recent book was ‘ORIGINS: How the Earth Shaped Human History’ which was published in 2019 by Penguin Random House and became a Sunday Times bestseller and named the Waterstone’s Book of 2019. His previous book, ‘THE KNOWLEDGE: How To Rebuild Our World After An Apocalypse’ was also a Sunday Times bestseller and named The Times ‘New Thinking’ Book of the Year.

Lewis’ talk

How the Earth Shaped Human History

When we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, revolutions, and technological advances. But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? How has our planet made us?

As a species we have been shaped by our environment. The human story is the story of how environmental forces, from plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents have changed the arc of human civilisation. In this talk, Lewis will discuss how the Earth’s awesome impact made us who we are today.

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